Narcissistic personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which there is an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with one's self.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of this disorder is unknown. Narcissistic personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood.
A person with narcissistic personality disorder:
- Reacts to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
- Takes advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
- Has feelings of self-importance
- Exaggerates achievements and talents
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
- Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
- Requires constant attention and admiration
- Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
- Has obsessive self-interest
- Pursues mainly selfish goals
Signs and tests
Personality disorders are diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.
Psychotherapy may help the affected person relate to others in a more positive and compassionate manner.
The outcome varies with the severity of the disorder.
- Relationship and family problems
- Alcohol or other drug dependence
Moore DP, Jefferson JW. Narcissistic personality disorder. In: Moore DP, Jefferson JW, eds. Handbook of Medical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2004: chap 140.
Young JQ. Narcissistic personality disorder. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2008: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008.
Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Timothy A. Rogge, MD, private practice in Psychiatry, Kirkland, Washington. Also reviewed byDavid Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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